The halt of deep convection in the Greenland Sea: A natural experiment for the study of their causes and effects
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Deep Water warming
There are only a few sites where the deep ocean is ventilated from the surface. The responsible process known as deep convection is recognized to be a key process on the Earth’s climate system, but still it is scarcely observed, and its good representation by global oceanographic and climate models remains unclear. In the Arctic Ocean, the halt of deep convection in the Greenland Sea during the last three decades serves as a natural experiment to study: (1) the conditions that drive the occurrence or not of deep convection and (2) the effects of the halt of deep convection on the thermohaline properties of the deep water masses and circulation both locally and in adjacent ocean basins. Combining oceanic and atmospheric in-situ data together with reanalysis data, we observe that not only on average the winter net heat losses from the ocean to the atmosphere (Qo) have decreased during the last three decades in the Greenland Sea ( Qo (before the 1980s- after the 1980s) = 25 Wm-2) ...
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